Happy Birthday to Princess Astrid of Norway, who turns 89 today! The middle child and second daughter of King Olav V of Norway and Princess Martha of Sweden, elder sister of King Harald, who served as ‘First Lady’ for her grandfather and father, the Princess has an illustrious jewellery collection, which includes today’s Pearl Bow Brooch!
When Princess Maud of Wales married Prince Carl of Denmark in 1896, she received a plethora of glittering jewels, including a ‘diamond and pearl bow brooch’ from Lord and Lady Rothschild (as illustrated by a sketch of the wedding gifts found by the wonderful Beth of HFJCMB), which she wore for the State Opening of Parliament in 1901 and the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. After becoming Queen of Norway in 1905, and wearing the Bow Brooch at her Coronation, she frequently paired the Brooch with her Diamond Tiara and Pearl Tiara, as well as for less formal portraits. In 1938, Queen Maud brought her jewels with her to England while she was having an operation, and where she passed away of heart failure.
Queen Maud’s jewels remained in England, throughout the Norwegian Royal Family’s exile during WWII, and were only reclaimed during a visit for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. Soon afterwards, her daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Martha passed away, and the brooch remained in the vaults for years until the Norwegian Royal jewellery collection was divided up following the Wedding of then Crown Prince Harald in 1968. Queen Maud’s Pearl Bow Brooch was inherited by Princess Astrid, who has worn it quite regularly since the 1970s, with both Queen Alexandra’s Turquoise Circlet and the Vasa Tiara, with a notable appearences including the Christening of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in 1973,
Recent notable appearences include King Harald and Queen Sonja’s 80th Birthday Banquet in 2017, Stortingsmiddag 2018, and the Diplomatic Banquet at the Royal Palace of Oslo in 2019. There is no doubt we will continue to see Princess Astrid wear this Royal Heirloom for years to come!